American Memory: Written Materials
Written materials in American Memory include books, government
documents, manuscripts, and sheet music. Examples of written
materials related to Washington, D.C. are provided for each
collection listed below. Search on the terms “District
of Columbia” or “Washington, D.C.” to locate
additional information within these American Memory collections.
Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress
The complete Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of
Congress consists of approximately 20,000 documents.
American Perspectives: Pamphlets from the Daniel A. P. Murray
The collection presents a panoramic and eclectic review
of African-American history and culture, spanning almost
one hundred years from the early nineteenth through the
early twentieth centuries, with the bulk of the material
published between 1875 and 1900. It includes copies of speeches
that were given in the District of Columbia and copies of
reports of organizations located in Washington, D.C.
by Hon. Frederick Douglass, Delivered in the Congregational
Church, Washington, D.C., April 16, 1883: On the Twenty-first
Anniversary of Emancipation in the District of Columbia.
Origin and Purpose of African Colonization. Being the
Annual Discourse Delivered at the Sixty-sixth Anniversary
of the American Colonization Society, Held in the New
York Avenue Presbyterian Church, Washington, D.C., Sunday,
January 14, 1883, by Edward Wilmot Blyden.
Graham Bell Family Papers at the Library of Congress
This collection contains correspondence, scientific notebooks,
journals, blueprints, articles, and photographs documenting
Bell's invention of the telephone and his involvement in
the first telephone company, his family life, his interest
in the education of the deaf, and his aeronautical and other
scientific research. It includes letters written when Alexander
Graham Bell lived in the District of Columbia and began
working with the deaf community.
Alfred Whital Stern Collection of Lincolniana
This collection documents the life of Abraham Lincoln
(1809-1865) both through writings by and about Lincoln as
well as a large body of publications concerning the issues
of the times including slavery, the Civil War, Reconstruction,
and related topics. Browse the collection by subject
to locate more than 100 items for the District
Notes: Travels in America, 1750-1920
This collection comprises 253 published narratives by Americans
and foreign visitors recounting their travels in the colonies
and the United States and their observations and opinions
about American peoples, places, and society from about 1750
American Time Capsule: Three Centuries of Broadsides and Other
The collection comprises 28,000 primary-source items dating
from the seventeenth century to the present and encompasses
key events and eras in American history. The collection
includes 1,236 items printed in the District
American Variety Stage: Vaudeville and Popular Entertainment,
The American Variety Stage is a multimedia anthology selected
from various Library of Congress holdings. The collection
includes playbills from Washington,
D.C., theaters including the Academy of Music, the New
National Theater, the Columbia Theater, and Chase’s
Capital Bay and the Bay: Narratives of Washington and the
Chesapeake Bay Region, 1600-1925
The collection includes first-person narratives, early
histories, historical biographies, promotional brochures,
and books of photographs that capture in words and pictures
a distinctive region as it developed between the onset of
European settlement and the first quarter of the twentieth
century. The collection contains twenty-nine items on the
subject of the District
of the District of Columbia; or, Washington City Seventy-nine
Years Ago, 1830-1909, by Mrs. Sarah E. Vedder . . .
District in the XVIIIth Century; History, Site-strategy,
Real Estate Market, Landscape, &c. as Described by
the Earliest Travellers: Henry Wansey, Francis Baily,
Isaac Weld, Duke of La Rochefoucauld-Liancourt, John Davis
Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional
Documents and Debates, 1774-1875
A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation consists of a linked
set of published congressional records of the United States
of America from the Continental Congress through the 43rd
Church in the Southern Black Community, 1780-1925
The hundred texts selected specifically for The Church
in the Southern Black Community are primarily books, together
with a few pamphlets and journal articles.
Narratives of the American South, 1860-1920
This collection documents the American South from the viewpoint
of Southerners. The collection includes narratives of Washington,
D.C., relating to the history of politics, social life and
customs, and the Civil War.
Frederick Douglass Papers at the Library of Congress
The Frederick Douglass Papers at the Library of Congress
presents the papers of the nineteenth-century African-American
abolitionist who escaped from slavery and then risked his
own freedom by becoming an outspoken antislavery lecturer,
writer, and publisher.
Slavery to Freedom: The African-American Pamphlet Collection,
The collection includes 396 pamphlets from the Rare Book
and Special Collections Division, published from 1822 through
1909, by African-American authors and others who wrote about
slavery, African colonization, Emancipation, Reconstruction,
and related topics.
Washington Papers at the Library of Congress, 1741-1799
The complete George Washington Papers collection from the
Manuscript Division at the Library of Congress consists
of approximately 65,000 documents.
Search tip: Search the phrase Commissioners of the District
of Columbia for letters from George Washington to the
Commissioners of the District of Columbia.
American Sheet Music, 1850-1920
The Historic American Sheet Music collection presents 3,042
pieces of sheet music. The collection includes "The
Washington Waddle. 1911."
James Madison Papers, 1723-1836
The James Madison Papers from the Manuscript Division at
the Library of Congress consists of approximately 12,000
items captured in some 72,000 digital images.
Nineteenth Century in Print: Books
The collection includes primary documents of American history
reflecting the broad domains of social and political history,
education, psychology, sociology, religion, and science
and technology as they developed throughout the antebellum,
Civil War, and Reconstruction eras (1850-77).
the Upper Midwest: Books from Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin,
This collection portrays the states of Michigan, Minnesota
and Wisconsin from the seventeenth to the early twentieth
century through first-person accounts, biographies, promotional
literature, local histories, ethnographic and antiquarian
texts, colonial archival documents, and other works drawn
from the Library of Congress's General Collections and Rare
Books and Special Collections Division. The collection includes
the book Crusader
and Feminist: letters of Jane Grey Swisshelm, 1858-1865,
which describes her experiences in Washington, D.C., during
the Civil War.
at Work: Recovered Notebooks from the Thomas Biggs Harned
Walt Whitman Collection
The Thomas B. Harned collection of the Walt Whitman papers
spans the period 1842 to 1937, with most of the items dated
from 1855 to 1892. Although this collection is not searchable,
94 includes Whitman’s experiences as a nurse at
the Soldiers and Sailors Hospital in Washington.
and the Courts, 1740-1860
Slaves and the Courts, 1740-1860 contains just over a hundred
pamphlets and books (published between 1772 and 1889) concerning
the difficult and troubling experiences of African and African-American
slaves in the American colonies and the United States. The
Code for the District of Columbia is included in the
Thomas Jefferson Papers at the Library of Congress
The complete Thomas Jefferson Papers from the Manuscript
Division at the Library of Congress consists of approximately
3. District of Columbia Miscellany. 1790-1808. Contains
a wide variety of Jefferson's letters, drawings, maps,
and notes that document the building of Washington, D.C.
Sessford, January 1, 1821, Statistical Table, Washington,
during the Civil War: The Diary of Horatio Nelson Taft, 1861-1865
Horatio Nelson Taft's diary consists of three manuscript
volumes, totaling 1,240 digital images, that document daily
life in Washington, D. C., through the eyes of Taft, an
examiner for the U. S. Patent Office. Transcriptions accompany
the digital images.